Today marks the longest time I have ever gone without seeing my dad. I think that thought often, as the longest amount of time I ever went without seeing him was maybe two months. Yesterday makes it five months and a day since he passed away.
Life does not prepare one for this loss, and honestly if there was a manual available like "How To Prepare For Your Perfectly Healthy Dad's Unexpected Death" I certainly wouldn't be buying it. I, like most people, live in the belief that things like that don't happen to me. During the last five months, the one thing that life has taught is that we are completely out of control. Sure, we can control what we eat, what we wear, the attitude we choose for that day, and many of the choice we make but when it comes right down to it we don't control when we go, and how.
A loss like this recently happened to another unsuspecting family, only it was their son. As I've been thinking about this family, I think back to "the week of Dad's stuff" (that's what I call the week of Dad's passing to his funeral). While one cannot compare the loss of a dad to the loss of a son, I can relate to the feeling of a shocking, unexpected, "freak accident" type of loss.
As I've been thinking about this, I realized one thing that helped me a lot was to know that I wasn't alone. That someone else had gone through this sudden loss too, that someone else hurt as bad as we all did, but seems to be "doing fine" today. I needed honesty from others who have been through this.
Yesterday morning I just couldn't sleep anymore, couldn't stop thinking of this family. So, I wrote them a letter. I've been going back and forth of if its appropriate to share this letter or not. Like am I making it about me and about my loss? I was strongly debating on if I should share it with the family when I got a sign. I stumbled upon a video of a gal who just lost her sister. In the video she talked about how sharing is healing, and sharing can help others through a tough loss. So, I've decided to share my letter with the family... and I'm sharing a modified version of it with you too.
The thought I keep going back to is "even if just one bullet point helps one person, then it was worth the send." So, here are a few things that I have learned in the last five months: